Child Custody & Visitation
How Travel Plans Can Be Affected By a Custody Agreement

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How Travel Plans Can Be Affected By a Custody Agreement

February 28 2023
By Virginia Family Law Center

As a newly divorced parent, you may be looking at your kids’ school schedules and planning a vacation. A cruise would be nice. Or maybe you would like to spend a week at the beach.

However, before you book that trip, you should make sure you can legally take your kids with you. You should know that your travel plans can be affected by a child custody agreement

Many custody agreements include provisions about travel and moving. You will need to consider the other parent without violating a court-ordered agreement. Therefore, if you have questions about whether or not you can travel with your children, you might find your answers in the agreement. If not, contact your lawyer to get your concerns addressed promptly. 

Are Travel Plans in the Custody Agreement?

Ideally, there should be considerations in your custody agreement that allow for travel time. This should not be a problem with the courts since they tend to be favorable about allowing children to spend time with their parents away from their regular daily experiences.

Still, the custody agreement should be detailed. It should clearly state the exact dates that either parent can travel for vacation with the child. There should also be instructions for both parents to notify each other and schedule the travel plans in advance. That way, there is no spur-of-the-moment travel planned with just a few hours’ notice (unless in the case of an emergency).

Ideally, the custody agreement should also answer these questions:

  • Under what circumstances is a parent allowed to travel with the child? 
  • If a parent travels with the child, will the other parent be allowed contact during that time? 
  • How soon must the parent with the passports and other traveling documents make them available to the other parent?

There may be different provisions for traveling out of the state vs. traveling out of the country, so those details should be outlined in the agreement as well. 

In any case, it is important to do the following:

  • Communicate. It is always a good idea to let the other parent know about your travel plans. Parents tend to worry about their kids, so they will likely have concerns when they are away from home. It is considerate to keep the other parent informed, even if you do not legally have to. It will give them peace of mind. 
  • Plan ahead. Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. For example, if you are traveling out of the country, you will need passports. You may also need vaccination records. Do you have them? If not, can you get them from the other parent? Do not wait until the last minute. This just causes unnecessary stress for everyone.

Contact Us Today

A summer vacation or Christmas break out of town can be challenging after a divorce. Find out what you need to do to ensure there are no complications along the way.

Confused about your custody agreement? The experienced child custody lawyers at Virginia Family Law Center can help make sure your travel plans are lawful and are not outside of the custody agreement. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (703) 865-5839.

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